Trump lawyer Michael Cohen just made a disastrous move in Stormy Daniels case

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President Trump’s personal lawyer just announced he intends to invoke his Fifth Amendment rights. Michael Cohen’s plan to ‘plead the 5th’ appeared in a sworn statement begging a California court to halt civil court proceedings in the Stormy Daniels case.

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In case you’ve forgotten, Donald Trump famously told his followers at a campaign rally that only the “mob takes the 5th Amendment.” (video below)

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Michael Cohen now has the dubious distinction of being the first member of the Trump inner circle – who hasn’t already been convicted of a crime – to invoke the Fifth Amendment to avoid potentially making self-incriminating statements. Ironically, it comes in a defamation lawsuit filed by super lawyer Michael Avenatti, who Daniels hired after Cohen attacked her and called her a liar in the national media.

Daniels’ lawsuit aims to get the court to invalidate her hush money deal altogether on the grounds that Michael Cohen violated federal election laws, which is just one of the potential criminal offenses Trump’s lawyer is facing.  That reality is Cohen’s primary motive for his decision regarding his testimony, which he expressed in this sworn statement:

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Michael Cohen’s sworn statement pleading the 5th is a milestone moment.  As Trump’s fixer and keeper of secrets, he can’t be convicted in court on the basis of invoking his rights, but it is still a tacit public admission of criminal wrongdoing.

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Cohen’s  under investigation by the FBI and the Southern District of New York US Attorney’s office for campaign finance violations, bank fraud, and wire fraud.

Stormy Daniels’ lawyer issued this statement about Cohen’s decision.

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Stormy Daniels’ complaint cites criminal wrongdoing as a legal reason to invalidate her hush money agreement with Trump since agreements must have a lawful purpose.

Cohen’s invocation of the Fifth Amendment would seem to hand Stormy Daniels the point in her battle to ditch Trumps hush money deal. Moreover, one has to wonder if Trump’s lawyer could face additional criminal charges under the Hobbs Act, a tough federal extortion law, if Daniels proves all of her allegations in court.

What makes Michael Cohen’s precipitous fall more stunning is that it just doesn’t make sense why he and/or President Trump believed that it was so important to keep his affair with Daniels secret by utilizing thuggish tactics  so long after the last election.

Watch Trump’s shameful comments about Michael Cohen here:

Grant Stern

Editor at Large

Grant Stern is a columnist for the Washington Press. He's also mortgage broker, writer, community activist and radio personality in Miami, Florida.

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